So why? Why am I NOT in bed? The very basic answer is that I’ve chosen to sacrifice those extra hours of sleep for something greater: a chance to have uninterrupted time to write and hang out with God for two-and-a-half hours before my family is even awake. For a mom with two young children, 5am on a Saturday is a haven to me!
This is Part 4 in the Right Priorities series. So far, we’ve looked at submitting to God’s direction in picking our priorities, choosing the great over the good and the need to focus rather than multi-task. All of these things require something: sacrifice. Sacrifice most often isn’t easy or convenient…it’s costly, it requires something from us. And saying “yes” to something requires that we must say “no” to something else.
How are you at saying “no”? How do you feel when you have to say “no” to something?
When I was nineteen years old, I recommitted my life to Jesus…oddly enough at a Starbucks! (No I’m not a paid endorser…just never doubt where God will move and change a life!) As I sat there chatting with God on paper, I felt the need to lay down my very real dream of pursuing a career as a professional musician. I knew the reason was, at least in part, because I had that dream for very selfish intentions…to make myself known. But God was asking me to lay down that prideful ambition and instead set my life on a new course, with a new purpose…to make Him known!
I genuinely thought I was totally giving up music forever, my one true passion in life at that time. I figured I would somehow have to be satisfied to just sing along in my car for the rest of my life. And as the next couple of years passed, that’s exactly what I did while God gave me crazy amounts of time to soak in His Word and His Presence. I fell in love with Him!
I felt led to attend seminary after receiving my bachelor’s degree. While in Denver for a visit to my soon-to-be school, the young man guiding myself and my sweet friend who was applying with me started asking questions about our personal interests and such. When I told him the story of handing up my musical dream, his mouth quirked slightly and he said, “Don’t be surprised if God gives music back to you someday.”
At the time, I totally disregarded his statement. I KNEW that wouldn’t happen (sigh…now I can smile at my naiveté.) A couple more years passed. In that time I got married to my unbelievably amazing husband, we moved a time or two and we found a new home church. God opened a door for me to join the worship team and one weekend, to have a solo which, I felt, began to break down those walls of doubt. He gave me music back, in His way, in His timing, for His purpose…not mine.
Time keeps ticking away and God keeps giving me music time and time again. We moved back to Texas after our son was born and our church was offering incredibly inexpensive group guitar lessons. That was a dream I’d nearly given up on…hauling around a guitar I’d had for twelve years. But four years ago, I took those lessons and saw God do a new thing with music in my life. I have the immense honor of leading the fabulous women in my regular Bible study in worship along with another wonderful friend of mine. And I LOVE it!!
When I handed God my dream, I thought that meant I would never see it again in a significant way. But instead, when I said “yes” to following God and “no” to following myself, God returned music to me in a way that both honors Him and which I completely love.
And…He gave me a NEW DREAM! That new dream is why I’m the crazy lady sitting at Starbucks at 5am on a Saturday: to touch the lives of others through the written word. And that is worth it to me to sacrifice a little sleep. God has shown me His faithfulness when I’ve handed Him my life’s dream. For His dream for me, I am happy to give Him something in return so that I can walk that journey with Him.
What is God asking you to set aside for His greater purpose? What’s it worth to you?